Question of the day: Is my lettuce safe in this winter weather?

December 2, 2009

Here is a question I received today from Carrie:

Lettuce1 "I am growing Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Bibb lettuce this fall.  I knowit's probably too late to be asking you this question, but what, ifanything, do I need to do this fall/winter to protect them?  I have itin my mind that the chard & spinach are pretty hardy and can take afrost(?) but I doubt the same can be said for the bibb.  Everythinglooks fine so far, even after the "snow" we got this morning."

I almost never cover my chard, spinach or lettuce. They can all take temperatures in the low 20's without protection. About 22 F degrees or so. In fact, you can even germinate spinach seeds down in the low 20's. If we drop into the teens you can cover them with a sheet of frost cloth and that should be enough. Just make sure plants are watered before a freeze and you're good to go. In our area we will normally get say two or three freezes in the teens, so just have some frost cloth on hand. Snow and ice can actually act as an insulator when it covers the plant. It's the dry hard freezes that actually do more damage. That help Carrie?

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